PAA Action News
July 1, 2015

Welcome to PAA Action News, the information and action newsletter of Parents Across America.
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PAA Action Alert

Take action TODAY for a better ESEA!

Yes, we know most of you have your minds on fireworks and bbq, but...

what could honor American independence
and strengthen our nation more than
an improved ESEA???

Right after the July 4th break, on Tuesday, July 7, the Senate will begin debate on S 1177, their version of a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

We have been preparing for this for months, and now is the time for our final push for a better ESEA, one with fewer tests, less money for charter schools, better protection for student data privacy, and a renewed focus on addressing poverty. 

Here is a one-page list of PAA's priority positions for S 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act.  

Please use this position paper TODAY! Email it to your Senators. Call their home offices (they should be around this weekend) and share it with them or, better yet, drop off a copy.

Two more things to do

PAA's paper covers several issues, but there is also strong organizing going on around testing and student data privacy which you can quickly support this way:

On testing: FairTest is asking people to send this letter to their Senators.

A suggested tweet:
Tell your Sens #lesstesting; write #Yes2TesterAmend 

The tinyurl leads directly to the letter page and that page includes where to get phone numbers. You can also include your Senators' contact info.

On data privacy: The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, led by PAA's own Leonie Haimson, is asking you to send this letter to Congress. They encourage you to edit the letter and add your views as to why student data privacy is important to you.
PAA News

July 19-25 is now PAA Week!

Plans are coming together for PAA Week, our 2015 virtual annual conference.

 PAA Week will take place during the same week we had set aside for our D.C. meeting, that is, July 19-25. Throughout the week we will offer a series of webinars and virtual meetings at various times. You will be able to decide which events you wish to attend. We will record them and make them available for those that can't attend in person.

What: The topics will be ones that PAA has been working on recently including Race, Poverty and Education; messaging; advocacy around ESEA and state and local policy making; and our newest project, testing and student mental health. Most of these sessions will be fully or partially open to the public. 

We will also have some internal sharing and planning sessions. Attendance at these will be limited to leaders of PAA chapters and affiliates.

Here's a tentative schedule for PAA Week. Times are TBA (to be arranged) and this schedule is subject to change.

Sunday 7/19: Kick-off and welcome (internal)
Monday 7/20: Messaging - guest presenter, FairTest's Bob Schaeffer (public/internal)
Tuesday 7/21: Next steps in our Race. Poverty and Education work (public)
Wednesday 7/22: Federal advocacy/PAA's Capitol Hill ToolKit (public)
Thursday 7/23: State and local advocacy; PAA heroes and successes (public/internal)
Friday 7/24: Testing and student mental health, PAA's preliminary findings (public)
Saturday 7/25: Goals and plans (internal)

We are still working on the technical aspects, such as finalizing the meeting platform we'll use and how to sign people up, so watch this space for details.

We hope to make this a fun, useful week that's accessible to more of our members and friends. We also hope that it will mark the beginning of a new and improved cyber-PAA!

Join us!

If you share
our overall goals of progressive, positive education reform and more parent input in education policy making, we invite you to affiliate with us if you are an existing group, or to form a new PAA chapter. The more of us there are, the stronger our voice will be at every level. Here's how!
PAA blog highlights

Keep up with our blog for more news and commentary on public education from the parents' point of view.

To learn more...
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